Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador and governor of South Carolina, announced her bid for the presidency on Tuesday.
She is the only prominent Republican challenger to former president Donald Trump in the 2024 race to announce a campaign thus far. Haley has seized an opportunity to begin fundraising earlier than other candidates and to grab the attention of G.O.P. primary voters.
Haley has called for a “generational change” in a video released on Twitter announcing her run. She states in her video that “Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections,” Haley said. “That has to change.”
Haley’s campaign has been encouraged by many polls conducted since Donald Trump’s announcement of a third presidential campaign showing that in a hypothetical multicandidate field, Trump wins less than 50% of Republican voters. A recent survey that included likely candidates has Trump winning 43% of the electorate and Haley winning 12%.
Her announcement of a presidential run contradicts a statement she made in 2021; Haley had previously told an A.P. reporter, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it.”
One of Donald Trump’s fundraising groups, MAGA Inc., released a statement criticizing Haley, writing that she wants “to go rake in money on corporate boards, adding: “Now, she says she represents a ‘new generation.’ Nikki is more of the same, a career politician whose only commitment is to herself.”
Since Haley resigned from her position as ambassador to the United Nations in 2018, she has had a complicated relationship with the former president. When she left the Trump administration, she was not criticized by the former president, who gave a statement that Haley had called Trump “the best president in my lifetime,” but added, “I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wants to do.”
After her resignation, she walked a fine line between praising the president’s actions and giving mild criticism that would appeal to Republican moderates. However, after the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Haley stated in an interview with Politico that “he went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him.”
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